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Politics Nation

News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the day's important political and human interest stories. New.

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Us 13, Washington 6, Campbell 5, Graham 3, Sean Hannity 3, D.c. 3, Limbaugh 3, New York 3, Angela 3, Joe Scarborough 2, Shelby 2, Sharpton 2, Chuck Hagel 2, John Lewis 2, Glenn Beck 2, Lewis 2, Obama 2, U.s. 2, The City 2, Cynthia 2,
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  MSNBC    Politics Nation    News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the  
   day's important political and human interest stories. New.  

    February 27, 2013
    3:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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let me finish tonight with this. i was in a big city hospital recently and the issue of gun control, gun safety came up. if i wanted to know the impact of guns, they could show me, take me down and show me. gunshot wounds can be horrible. the need to try to do something about the proliferation of assault rifles, ammo magazines and the loopholes in the
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requirement that there be background checks. people told us of the horrible sight in newtown, connecticut. i don't want to be part of a movement to keep them flying into the hands of all sorts of people as they are today. the hoarders, the survivalists, the pair noud and the nutty. why? the next mass shooter could merge out of this. check the shooters of kennedy and ford. look at the man that shot kennedy and malcolm x. they had political motive rksz got guns easy and put them to use. write your congressman and say what you think and feel. do it tonight before you go to bed. the address of congress, for all the congressmen is u.s. congress, washington, d.c., 20515. that's washington, d.c., 20515. it will get there. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politics nation" starts right now.
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>> thanks, chris. thanks to you for tuning in. i'm live tonight from washington, d.c., where i was inside the supreme court for the arguments today. tonights lead, supreme showdown. today, the court heard the most serious challenge to the voting rights act of 1965. in the middle of this legal drama, with major constitutional questions at stake, conservative justice scalia made a statement that cut through everything else. scalia said the law represents a court perpetuation of racial entitleme entitlement. sitting in the court, those words were shocking. a supreme court justice of the united states saying the voting rights act is a perpetuation of racial entitlement. lyndon johnson signed the law in
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1965 to prevent racial discrimination, to stop the taxes, literacy taxes and violence rampant across jim crowe south. nine states are required, mostly in the south, to get federal permission before changing their voting procedures. this provision stopped unfair voting changes like districts redrawn to minimize the vote of african-americans. recently, it's been used to block photo id laws in south carolina and texas. and cutbacks in early voting in florida. yet, in 2009, chief justice roberts wrote quote, things have changed in the south. yes, things have changed. clearly not enough. just this past fall we saw new voter id laws and voting lines that were far too long. the voting rights act works and
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it's been renewed by congress again and again by overwhelming margins. put a surprise winning supreme court reporter linda greenhouse writes, if the court strikes down this part of the voting rights act, it would be, quote, a truly radical move, a march off a cliff of the court's own making. something that is unprecedented. racial entitlement? that's offensive justice scalia got it totally backwards. now he's threatening to send the country backwards as well. joining me now, live from the white house is congressman john lewis, democrat from georgia, a civil rights icon whose beating at the bridge in alabama in 1965 helped to bring about the voting rights act. congressman, thank you for being here tonight.
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>> thank you very much, reverend al for having me here tonight. i'm so pleased to be here after being in the chamber of the supreme court today and going over to see the statue of rosa parks unveiled. it's almost too much. i couldn't believe what i heard today in the chambers by justice scalia. >> you were sitting there. as one who got beaten on that bridge and watched what you watched, to hear voting rights referred to as a racial entitlement, how do you react to that? what were you thinking? >> it was unreal, unbelievable, almost shocking for a member of the court to use that language. i can see politicians and even members of congress, but it is just appalling to me. it is a front to all of what the
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civil rights movements do it for, what people die for, what people bled for and those of us who marched across that bridge 48 years ago, we didn't march for some racial entitlement. we wanted to open up the political process and let all the people come in. it didn't matter whether they were black, white, latino, or native american. >> the voting rights act was put before congress after you and reverend william who is represented dr. king were beat on that bring in 1965 known as bloody sunday. it was to protect the rights of african-americans and then all americans right to vote section v in districts that had the historic pattern of discrimination couldn't make changes without preclearance.
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how is that an entitlement? i thought african-americans were citizens? for us to have the right to vote protected is an entitlement program? >> the right to vote is precious, almost sacred. it is the most powerful nonviolent instrument that we have in a democratic society. if the courts come to that point where they declare this section, section v of the voting rights unconstitutional, it will be a dagger. it will be a dagger in the whole process to open up our democracy and let all of our people come in. >> one of the things you have done every year is bring all of us some of us that were too young to be there in '65, some of us were there and we go across that bridge with you as we will sunday. i might add the vice president to eric cantor. you bring republicans,
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democrats, white, blacks, there were whites that marched with you in '65. do you think that the language we heard today will sit well with the american people no matter what their racial background and no matter what their political background? don't most americans agree we need the voter's right protected? >> i think the majority of people in our country believe, truly believe that all of us have the right that our right to vote to cast an open and free vote to be protected by the law of the land. >> now, let's bring in ryan haygood of the naacp legal and educational fund who helped make the argument against shelby county's claim at the supreme court today. let me ask you mr. haygood, the
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statement i read from miss greenhouse of the new york times, this would be an unprecedented power grab for the supreme court to actually interfere with the will of the people. congress made the voting rights act including in 2006. for them to interfere with it would be unprecedented in terms of how the legal community is set up and the legal system is set up in this system, is that correct? >> that's absolutely right, reverend sharpton. over four decades, four times the supreme court upheld section v against constitutional challenges. it's recognized as a crowning achievement and has gone a distance in recognizing racial discrimination in those places
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is a different character. it's more intense, more persistent. section v is a strong medicine, a strong remedy to a strong type of discrimination that's persisted over time. the supreme court recognized the gains we have seen have been part and partial of section v. what the court recognized today in oral argument, there's been progress, but discrimination. there was a moment in the oral argument when justice briar asked, i think we, the court, have consensus around two points, one, we have traveled a tremendous distance in seeking to eradicate the voting. justice briar posted the question to the lawyer. who can address it? is it you? the lawyer for alabama put his hands up, no, it's not me.
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the congress in 2006 met that question. congress conducted 21 hearings over ten months, heard from 90 witnesses for and against reauthorizing section v, established a 15-page record. congress recognized in the jurisdictions, more than 1,000 proposed discriminatory changes were blocked. >> the point is and the congressman has been out there, we marched, we did all kinds of efforts all over this country last year when they were changing voter id laws, photo id laws, all of a sudden, the photo id we always had was no longer good enough. they were changing early voting days. they were changing being able to vote on sunday. if they change section v now, they make it unconstitutional, any of these districts all over this country, but particularly those in the path of
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discrimination can do whatever they want. there's no stopping. the attorney general, no one can stop them. we had a 102-year-old woman at the state of the union address as a guest of the president of the united states who stood in line two hours to use and utilize her vote. you are telling people like that those lines are going to be there forever and longer. we are discouraging voters. this is absolutely unthinkable. >> reverend sharpton, to your point, what highlights the essentiality, the court has to be mindful of the real people protected by the protections in the places racial discrimination persisted over time. alabama, it must occur to your voters, alabama is the place that is bringing this challenge to section v and shelby county in particular. in 2008, the city -- the
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department of justice rejected it because it eliminated the city's sole african-american district by reducing the black population from 79% to 25%. they held an election in which the african-american councilman lost his seat because of section v. they held another election where he was restored. >> it's an example of why we say we have come a long way, congressman, lewis. we have a long way to go. no one has seen it more than you. you were the youngest member of the leading organizations 50 years ago at the march on washington. you seen us go from the back of the bus to the white house. you are hear today saying we have a distance to go and we still need voter rights protection. congressman lewis? >> yes, al, i agree. we have come a distance. we have made progress, but we are not there yet.
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we still have a great distance to go. we hear the type of discussion that took place today, the question raised by one member of the court. when you travel through many parts of america and see people standing in unmovable lines, saying it's hard and difficult for people to cast a vote, we still need section v. it is the heart and soul of the voting act of 1965. we cannot stop now and we will not stop now. we will not go back. >> congressman john lewis thank you for your time tonight. if it sounds like i'm passionate and emotional about it and it's personal to me, it is. my mother, who raised me, by herself as a single parent couldn't vote in her native alabama until she was 39 years old. she was able to vote because of
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the voting rights act. my daughters who are in their 20s may have to use different id than i did because of others that have come with new forms of voter suppression. to have one generation denied the right to vote and a generation behind me now threatened with new forms of voter suppression is personal to me. i'm not looking for an entitlement. i'm a citizen. i should be protected and treated like any other citizen. i don't need an entitlement to do what americans should be able to do every day. we'll be right back. erwear clea. this is another! ta-daa! try charmin ultra strong. it cleans so well and you can use up to four times less than the leading value brand. and it's four times stronger. charmin ultra strong. [ coughs ] [ baby crying ] ♪ [ male announcer ] robitussin® liquid formula soothes your throat on contact
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we're back with real progress to report on the gun safety. vice president biden kept the pressure on telling the nation's attorney generals no more excuses. new york mayor michael broomberg met with the vice president a day after the mayor's gun safety cabinet won a primary in chicago. an action on capitol hill with the major senate hearing on the assault weapons ban. emotions ran high for neil, the father of a child killed inside sandy hook elementary school.
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>> jesse was the only family i had left. it's hard for me to be here today to talk about my deceased son. i have to. i'm his voice. i'm not here for the sympathy and a pat on the back as many people stated in the town of newtown. i'm here to speak up for my son. there's many changes that have to happen to make a change effective. mental health issues, better background checks, bans on these weapons, bans on high capacity magazines. they all have to come together and work effectively. common sense tells you that. >> common sense tells you that.
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also, at the senate hearing, a milwaukee police chief brought a powerful message for banning assault weapons. >> how many people have to get murdered in a mass murder for it to be enough? now i have been wrong time after time after time. i'm a grandpa. i have little kids at home. is 20 babies enough to say these implements should not be easily distributed. that's what we're asking for. when was that gun bought? >> chief edward flin joins me now. chief, thank you for being here tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> you had a heated exchange with senator lindsey graham over background checks. let's show that to our viewers. >> how many cases have you made for somebody violating a background check. >> we don't make those cases. we make gun cases. we make 2,000 gun cases a year, senator.
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that's our priority. we are trying to prevent the wrong people buying guns. that's why we do background checks. if you think i'm going to do a paper chase then you think i'm trying to misuse my resources. >> i'm asking how the law works today. he's made no cases, you have not made any. how many cases have you had turned over from the u.s. attorney to prosecute at the state level that you know of? >> we all know the answers to these questions. we don't chase papers, we chase armed criminals. >> you really wouldn't back down. but you seem very committed and passionate about this, why? >> you can't be a career police officer and work in an urban jurisdiction and not be passionate about it. every year, there's a slow motion mass murder in our cities. individual tragedies such as newtown and aurora. they are daily tragedies of
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deaths in the city. they are committed with semiautomatic weapons, many with high capacity magazines. some of them assault rifles. a country that is unwilling to do anything about that doesn't care about itself citizens. i don't believe that. i found it extraordinarily frustrating as i sat there. every one of them said oh, we respect your work. we are so sorry about the tragedy in newtown, but we're not going to do anything about it. it's unacceptable. you can't help but become a little agitated when someone engages and says look over here, nobody prosecuted these people for filling out their paperwork wrong. no, but we have arrested thousands. the background checks worked. the purpose of the background check isn't to create cases, it's to prevent guns fall sboog the hands of criminals. on that basis, they have succeeded. >> chief, in a recent poll,
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overwhelmingly, americans support universal background checks, 92%. when you look at a new nbc poll x nbc/wall street journal poll, it shows the majority of americans want a more strict gun laws. less trick or treat, 4%, keep as is, 34%. why do you think you are getting some of this political resistance like you saw on capitol hill. would you say stricter gun laws and background checks. universal background checks. what could be so controversial about that? >> if we are going to be honest, the realish sh issue is not thed amendment, it's congress. a lot of people make a lot of money selling weapons to people. now the bill is proposed by senator feinstein, specifically
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exempts 2500 different weapons from the bills provisions. there are thousands of weapons available to sportsmen and hunters and people concerned about self-defensself-defense. trust my, i honor those defending themselves. law-abiding citizens need something to protect their home. there are many weapons available to do that. the issue is, what is our willingness as a society to regulate destruction whose only purpose is kill large numbers of human beings as rapidly and efficiently as possible. don't tell me the brady bill didn't work. the guns used in newtown were purchased after the bill expi expired. don't tell me that. say you care about their child and leave before they testify. that's what happened. it's disgraceful. stop fronting and care about the lives of your constituents.
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>> new york mayor michael bloomberg met today with the vice president at the white house. here is what he said after the meeting. >> i walk away pleased, optimistic. i'm not under any delusion this is a slam dunk or that it is already in the bag, if you will. i think it is something that the time is coming and if not now, it will be later. the difference is there's going to be a lot more people murdered between now and later. when you think about it in that context, there isn't any time to waste. >> he said that he is optimistic, he has some hope. are you optimistic after today? >> you have to remain optimistic if you are going to stay in police work for a career. you have to hope sooner or later the system can work. the question before us is straight forward. do we have the political will and capacity to come up with a provision to keep people safe
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from military assault weapons? it's not a hard problem to solve. it's been solved before. it worked for ten years during brady. crimes committed with assault rifles decreased by 66%. we can do this if the will is there. i'm got to believe those congressmen can listen to those parents. >> you stood up strong today. didn't waiver at all. i'm honored to have you on the show. thank you for joining us and thank you for the way you are standing up for the people in this country. >> thank you. coming up, with their brand in free fall, are republicans finally ready to take on rush limbaugh? stay with us. ♪
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what happens when a congressman goes after sean hannity? this. >> quite frankly, you are the worst excuse for a journalist i have ever seen.
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>> i am what? i can't hear you. say again. >> what you just displayed was not journalism. it wasn't anything close to try to tell the american people what's really going on. i mean it's just shocking. >> it sure got hot under the studio lights. the epic takedown is coming up. let's go. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing the all-new cadillac xts... another big night on the town, eh? ...and the return of life lived large. ♪
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not everyone peaks in their twenties. throughout their lives. passion keeps them realizing possibilities. an ally for real possibilities. aarp. find tools and support at aarp.org/possibilities. here that sound? it's the gop cracking. house republicans have caved on the violence against women's act. tomorrow, they are expected to pass it. the bill provides programs for domestic violence investigations and prosecutions. resources like the national domestic violence hot line and offers much needed funding for domestic violence shelters. who could be against this? republicans were. for months.
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they blocked it, every chance they could. time and again, we talked to senator boxer about the gops refusal to take up the legislation. now they are cracking. after a year of fighting against women's rights, after a year of mocking their war on women. >> the republicans have a war on caterpillars. >> this strawman, straw women, this war on women that supposedly the gop is waging. >> this is the war on women. give me a break. >> so much for the fake outrage. and remember this? >> quite frankly, chuck hagel is out of the mainstream of thinking. >> i think it's a lot of tough questions. >> it's difficult to imagine a circumstance where i could support his confirmation. >> soak it in. the secretary of defense hagel reporting for his first day on the job. need another example?
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mr. mccain and his buddy senator graham met with the president on immigration reform head. mccain said the president, quote, understands what we are dealing with. graham called it one of the best meetings i have ever had with the president. this isn't candid camera. it's senator mccain and graham. no gop reversal has been more dramatic than health care. >> we are not going to implement obama care. we are not going to expand medicaid. >> that's mr. scott, one of the eight gop governors signed on to the president's medicaid expansion. the key part of this health care will be implemented. this is progress. it hasn't been easy. at times, it's been down right messy. but you better believe, it's progress. it's a win. joining me now is richard wolffe
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and angela. thank you both for coming on the show tonight. >> thank you. >> it's a hard sell but republicans seem to crumble on a bunch of these issues. what's going on? >> they are picking fights they cannot win. they are picking fights about defense secretary who is always going to have enough votes. yes, they mess around with him. he was always going to get confirmed. it's a bit like the sequester. they have to cave. the pressure is too intense watching this unfold. medicaid dollars, really, are you going to have governors with the supreme court saying you have a choice. governors are going to turn down dollars that make them more popular. they are not picking smart fights here. that leads to a bigger question. will they ever break out of what bobby jindal call the stupid party? that's the thing they are facing right now. >> angela, you work the hill. you know it better than most people in this town.
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you were there in 2010 when the tea party movement was at its height and had a lot of strength. salon says that not only do the republicans seem to be caving, but the tea party itself seems to have fizzled. let me read the quote. it says who are the names that come to mind when you think of leaders of the tea party movement? maybe sarah palin, glenn beck, jim demint, ron paul and michele bachmann. you could add to that a handful list of congressmen, steve king and joe walsh. then you realize that every single one of them either lost their job or abandoned being a voice of the movement. an interesting statement. >> absolutely. i think when you look at the tea party politics and what was happening in 2010, both on the
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hill and even for the president, the president just won the election, 2008. all of a sudden the tea party rises. folks are angry. they want to take their country back. there's visceral partisan rhetoric we can't relate to in any way shape or form. now, the evolution of the tea party. we saw this election season with people saying all kind of things like donald trump wanted to see a revolution. glenn beck said people are hired into the government to be taught how to be racist. we see these things unfold in all kinds of ways. they are not representative of what the american people at large think, feel or vote for. >> why do they fight? >> i don't know. when you look at what's happening today, the fiscal cliff was the first battle where, you know, speaker boehner had to say forget the rule. after that, they are speaking out against immigration.
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mccain is defending the president on policies that make sense. they have to do what makes sense for the country, not these conservative districts they have drawn for themselves after redistricting. >> day after day, a poll shows how badly the gop brand has become. a new poll says 62% think the gop is out of touch with the american people. 52%, 52 now think is gop is too extreme. >> right. i want to put another point of comparison here. yes, the polls are striking. in a way, it's not surprising straight after they just won an election. might be more surprising to do a comparison between where president bush was at this point of his second term and where president obama is. president bush did not have a honeymoon. by the time he got inaugurated the second time, he was already having rebellions in his own party. his big signature thing in the
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start of his second term was reforming social security, privatizing social security. it failed. you are looking at the president, president obama with a shot of immigration reform where his party is holding together with him, not splitting away as republicans did with president bush. you know, democrats at that point of 2005 were on a track to a big win in 2006. looking at things now, i know it's early. republicans do not seem to be on that track for the next election, 2014. >> you know, when you look at the fact that the polls that i just quoted to angela, yesterday's nbc news poll to be specific with the wall street journal, he says the republican body is in need of a major make other. republicans don't need a silver lining, they need a whole new playbook. now, even though that may be
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something you and i would say sounds right, look at the title messages that keep failing and listen to who the gop has invited to speak at this year's big conservative conference. take a listen. >> you can actually see russia from land here in alaska. >> corporations are people, my friend. we can raise taxes -- of course they are. everything corporations earn goes to people. >> three agencies of government that are gone. commerce, education and the -- what's the third one there? let's see -- >> i believe 78 to 81 members of the democratic party -- >> i don't want to make people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. >> you betcha. >> these are the -- this is the lineup. these are the key speakers for their conference. i mean, so how do they ever
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rebrand when they have the same old, tired line and those that give those lines as their key people out front? >> they won't. they absolutely won't. you have governor christy who is in new jersey in a blue state with a 78% approval rating. if you can't beat them, you join they will. it's boycotts across the board. they want to see a sequester happen. in 25% of the country knows what a sequester is. you can't continue boycott politics to get anything done. >> richard and angela, thank you for your time this evening. >> thanks. every now and again, the right wingers meet their kryptonite, true. and it happened last night inside the right wing echo chamber, next. [ female announcer ] what does the anti-aging power of olay total effects plus the perfecting color of a bb cream equal? introducing the newest beauty trend. total effects cc cream c for color. c for correction.
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republicans are stuck in a right wing bubble that keeps reality on the outside. once in awhile, the truth slips
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in. that's what happened when democratic congressman keith ellison squared off last night against fox's sean hannity who was claiming that the president was just scaring the public over budget cuts. the result was a smackdown for the ages. >> quite frankly, you are the worst excuse for a journalist i have ever seen. >> i am what? i didn't hear you. >> you heard me. >> say it again, i didn't hear you. >> what you just displayed was not journalism. it wasn't anything close to the telling the american people what was going on. the president was honest. what he said was dead-on accurate. for you to say the president is to blame is ridiculous. i was there august 2011 when the republicans, your party, which you -- >> i'm not a republican. let me correct the record. >> you are nothing but a
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republican. >> sir, sir -- i'm a registered -- congressman, i not not a registered republican. i'm a registered conservative. i am a registered conservativco. >> in the spirit of bipartisanship -- >> i thought you weren't a republican? did you lie? >> you want to make a bet i'm a conservative? >> i don't bet. >> what is it the republicans and the $10,000 bets? the truth is, they can't handle the truth. >> i have given you plenty of time to rant, congressman. >> we'll let you get a word in, go ahead. >> you are so nice to get a word in on my own program. >> let's close loopholes. let's say the yachts and jets are something you should notd write off. mobile should not get a tax
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rebate and subsidy. let's start there. people who pay less. >> you are ranting well. can i ask you a question? here is a simple question -- here is my question. is it immoral, is it immoral to -- >> you are immoral. >> i'm immoral? >> yes. >> what did i do that's immoral. >> you say things that aren't true. >> give me one example, sir. >> to try to say that it is the president's fault and he is to blame is wrong. it's a lie. >> it's not his fault we are $16 trillion in debt? >> no rksz it is not the president's -- >> we didn't add $6 trillion since he's president? all right, congressman you are a waste of time. i'm moving on. our audience deserves better. >> looks to me like someone's bubble just got burst. joining me now is cynthia
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tucker. cynthia, is that what happens when the truth blows up the right wing's echo chamber in. >> you know, rev al, the simple fact of the matter is that the congressman was absolutely right when he said that fox news isn't journalism. it isn't. it's propaganda. it is propaganda perhaps mas masquerading as journalism. he's a democrat. the simple fact of the matter is there has been several highly respected study that is show that viewers of fox news are less well informed. they know less. they are more misinformed than people who get their news from any other source. in fact, one study said that fox viewers are less informed than people who don't watch any news
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at all. the congressman was absolutely right. it isn't journalism. >> when you look at the fact that a lot of people who are conservative and republican are dealing with this kind of hysteria, joe scarborough, "morning joe," last tuesday ripping gop for being stuck in their own media world. >> for conservatives that think they have to stay in their own little media world, since rush limbaugh went on the air and became a national figure, republicans have lost five out of the last six presidential elections in the popular vote. since fox news went on the air in 1996, republicans have lost four out of five. >> and that's what i really want to deal with. it may make them feel good in their chamber to say things that they feel they all agree with, but they can't win.
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they have lost the relevance of their party. i think that's the point that scarborough and a growing list of conservative republicans are saying. is this has ridded them ineffective? >> absolutely. every now and then the truth smacks them upside the head. as happened to karl rove when he was on fox news on election night, sitting there simply refusing to believe that obama was winning re-election. so, it hasn't served their party well at all to have a continuing steady diet of things that absolutely are not true. another example is that several conservative outlets kept rep t repeating that chuck hagel would not be confirmed. he was going down in defeat. some of them were stunned when
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he was confirmed fairly easily. no, it isn't serving the republican party or its voters very well to have them served a steady diet of things that are simply factually untrue. people like joe scarborough and david frum and a few others are trying to get them to come to their senses. wake up. we need to have, live in a reality based universe. >> now, when you look at the fact that the president himself said last month that fox and rush are helping to create gridlock in washington is not only hurting the party, it's hurting the country. look what the president said. it says, if a republican member of congress is not punished on fox or by rush limbaugh for working with a democrat on a bill or common interest, then you'll see more of them doing it. i mean, isn't that the real
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problem he's raising there? republican politicians are controlled by far right talkers who care more about ratings than they do about the people and about the progress for the country? >> absolutely. i mean republican members of congress had to apologize to rush limbaugh for daring to say something, you know, utter a bit of tepid criticism of him. they live in utter fear of the man. they live in utter fear of being called out by bill o'reilly or sean hannity on fox news. it is not at all good for the country when they are more afraid of rush limbaugh than they are afraid of doing the wrong thing for the people who sent them to washington. >> cynthia, i have to leave it there. thanks for your time tonight. >> good to be here, rev. >> the supreme court and the ghost of the civil rights
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